The Seattle Seahawks are Playing for 2010 in 2009

Back to business.

We are six games through the season but the combined forces of probability and fate and time has many of us convinced the season is over. Seattle is in the repugnant place for a franchise where April seems more optimistic than October. Optmistic, maybe. More important? Never.

As I detailed last Spring and insisted last Fall, bad teams rarely rebound to greatness or even respectability. Seattle was bad last season. Very bad. Niners bad. Injuries, the seeming bizarreness of their extent, and the ever hoped for return to health had many thinking this season would be different. Instead, Seattle suffered another wave of injuries and is again facing late October without a realistic shot at the playoffs.

Sunday is Seattle's get-healthy game. It matters the world.

Talent is interdependent in football. A hobbled Brandon Mebane slows the ends. Mebane is healthy. A rickshaw starting at left tackle grounds the run game. Seattle imported a healthy left tackle. A Steve Vallos mucks everything up. Rob Sims has been a full participant in practice.

Sunday is Seattle's get-healthy game. Whoever Seattle signs, cuts, draft, promotes, loses or restructures this offseason, and whomever does it, the team that takes the field this Sunday is nine-tenths the team that will start the season next September. Maybe Seattle lacks a realistic path to the playoffs this season, but a 7-9 team that breaks late, clobbering chumps and kicking pretenders out of the playoff race, is much more likely to be a contender next season.

Seattle can strike a blow for their future this Sunday. Over the next few days, I will preview every little thing that matters: Matchups, scheme and execution. One win moves Seattle to 3-4 and puts it a win away from last season's total. A win away from .500. It may not be enough to get back into the race this season, but it strikes a resounding blow for the future of the Seahawks.

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